Police misconduct intolerable, threat to rule of law: CoE human rights commissioner
Protesters are beaten by police during demonstrations in Istanbul marking the first anniversary of Gezi protests, May 31. AP Photo / Emrah GürelThe Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, has expressed his indignation after Turkish police’s brutal handling of the demonstrations marking the anniversary of Gezi protests May 31, condemning the “excessive use of violence.”
Many protesters were left bloodied and bruised after a sweeping police crackdown on the peaceful demonstrations, particularly in Istanbul and Ankara, causing renewed outrage over officers’ virtually unrestricted impunity in dealing with even the hint of dissent.
“I condemn the excessive use of force by the Turkish police against demonstrators and journalists. Yesterday’s events add to the list of cases in which the handling of demonstrations in Turkey has raised serious human rights concerns,” said Muiznieks in a public statement, calling for the immediate implementation of the recommendations made by the Council of Europe regarding freedom of assembly and press freedoms.
“Misconduct of law enforcement officials poses a direct threat to the rule of law and cannot be tolerated,” Muiznieks said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had vowed that police would do the necessary “from A to Z” during the demonstrations marking the Gezi anniversary a few hours before the crackdown.
Istanbul Police Department Chief Selami Altınok hailed the police brutality late May 31, saying it had been a “nice day without much trouble.”